August 25, 2017

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£300k fine after dangerous machinery incident

Heathcoat Fabrics Limited, a Devonshire based textile company, has been fined after a 21-year old employee suffered life changing hand injuries.

On 23 August 2014, Anthony Seward was preparing a piece of machinery for the next shift, when his hand was drawn into the rotating rollers. He suffered severe crush injuries to his left hand resulting in partial amputation of four fingers.

Exeter Magistrates’ Court was told that the HSE’s investigation found the company had failed safeguard this dangerous machinery. They had previously provided a guard, but when it broke down they failed to repair it and instead replaced the guard with an emergency stop wire.

Life changing injuries

It remained in that condition for over two years, with the proper guard only being replaced the day after this incident.

Heathcoat Fabrics Limited of Westexe, Tiverton, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,862.30.

Speaking after the hearing Health & Safety Executive inspector Paul Mannell said: “Mr Seward has suffered life changing injuries due to the company’s failures.  An individual’s health and safety should not be made worse by the work they do.

“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of safety guarding for employees to be able to operate it.”

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